The Department of Energy has sent a $17.8 billion budget request to
Congress for Fiscal Year 1996. Current year funding is $17.5
billion. DOE requested $2,810.5 million for fundamental science
research, which is an increase of $102.4 million, or 3.8%.
Of major importance to the physics community is a $100 million, or
10%, increase in DOE basic research facilities funding. This
"Presidential Budget Initiative" would increase user-facility
operations about 30%. Twenty-three basic energy sciences, high
energy physics, nuclear physics, and scientific computing
facilities would be affected. As an example, DOE estimates
Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lab's operating capacity would
increase from 50% to almost 100% utilization.
High Energy Physics Funding would increase $43.5 million, or 6.8%,
from $642.1 million to $685.6 million. DOE states in its "Budget
Highlights" report that this request "accommodates the
recommendations of the Drell Panel review of the program and
provides $15 million as part of the Scientific Facilities
Utilization Initiative" -- which it roughly does. Within this
request is $52.0 million for construction of Fermilab's Main
Injector and $52.0 million for SLAC's B-Factory.
Nuclear Physics Funding declines $10.4 million, or 3.1%, from
$331.5 million to $321.1 million. DOE would provide $70.0 million
"to operate the completed Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator
Facility and continue construction of the Relativistic Heavy Ion
Collider." Last year, the DOE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory
Committee recommended a FY 1996 budget of $348 million.
Fusion Energy Research Funding declines from $368.4 million to
$366.0 million. DOE explains that the magnetic fusion energy
budget "provides for a concentrated effort on the tokamak design
concept and on an integrated international approach to demonstrate
the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion power." The
budget's objectives: 1.) completion of the analysis of the TFTR D-T
experiments, 2.) "U.S. participation in the engineering design
phase" of ITER, 3.) "to construct an experimental facility to
explore the physics of improved power plant concepts," 4.) "a
strong base physics and technology research program...to support
ITER, TPX, and a demonstration power plant."
Basic Energy Sciences funding increases $77.5 million, or 10.6%,
from $733.9 million to $811.4 million. DOE made no request for the
Advanced Neutron Source since it "proposes to terminate the project
because of its high cost." Instead, the $348.3 million request for
the materials sciences program includes $8.0 million "for research
and development leading to the conceptual design of a spallation
neutron source to meet the Nation's need for a next generation
neutron scattering source." The "preferred site" for this facility
is Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Included in the over-all request
is $3.2 million for final construction of Argonne's 6-7 GeV
Synchrotron Radiation Source and $2.0 million for the Sandia lab's
Combustion Research Facility, Livermore.